Are You a Victim of Your Own Business Success?

Ron and Sharon started a little side hustle…that unexpectedly morphed into a booming business.

Initially, all those happy customers—and that sizable bump in income—were thrilling.

But in time, their growing enterprise became a 24/7 obsession. Says Sharon, “At first, it was fun telling people, ‘We’re business owners!’ Now it’s more like ‘Ugh! This business owns US!’ How do we get our life back?”

It’s a common story. People want more career flexibility…or more money. Or they have a passion. So, they start a business. (Some do it to survive after their old job went away and they had to figure out a new way to pay the bills!) 

Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure. No one ever thinks, “I don’t care if I don’t have a life anymore—I just want a successful business!”

Yet how many of us end up there!

Trapped by our own “success,” we feel more and more imprisoned by this monster of our own creation. 

It typically happens in three stages:

  • Consuming passion. You had a dream of what working for yourself could be like. You worked hard on a plan you could show to a partner, a banker, and potential employees. You cast that vision, and in the process, got more and more enthused! You were ALL in.

The business became your passion. Perhaps you took care of it even better than you took care of your family or yourself.

  • Complex sophistication. As your business grew, customers leaned on you more and more to help them solve problems. Your own level of expertise grew wider and deeper. 

Your conversations went from “We don’t do that,” to “We can certainly try that,” to “Sure! We do that for customers every day!”

Your customer base grew. Your menu of services expanded. Your revenue increased. All good, right?

Except that there’s a not-so-hidden cost in all of this. That amazing growth comes at a cost. And that cost is you. You have let your business grow to the point where it is controlling your life. 

Your dream of self-employment has somehow become a nightmare of self-enslavement.

The bad news is that you got yourself into this.

The good news is that you can get yourself out. How? By moving to the third stage…

  • Contented simplicity. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “I would not give a fig for simplicity on this side of complexity. But I would give my life for simplicity on the other side of complexity.”

If I may adapt the Supreme Court justice’s thought…by reaching simplicity on the other side of complexity in your business, you won’t have to give up your life. You may actually get it back. 

Next week we’ll explore this idea of “contented simplicity” and the five steps it takes to get there.

Meanwhile, if you’re wishing for some simplicity regarding “retirement planning,” email me at bmoore@argentadvisors.com. Ask me for a link to our free, 5-minute quiz that can help you figure out—based on your unique “financial personality”— the least stressful way to turn your retirement savings into retirement income.

Argent Advisors, Inc. is an SEC-registered investment adviser. A copy of our current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request. Please See Important Disclosure Information here.

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